August 6th: A Day Filled with History of Every Kind

The history of August 6th is a rich and wide ranging.   It is a day that shows the many complex sides of the human story.

1. 74 years ago today, the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan, killing approximately 150,000.  There is no telling how this decision by President Truman altered the course of history.  What could the lives lost have turned into? how many lives would have been lost had he chosen not to drop the bombs?  How many people were never able to recover due to injury or the unshakable grief they must have felt?  Did the example set by those two bombs keep the world from using them again for the next seven decades?

Don’t ever forget that the nuclear weapons of today are over 1500 times stronger than the one dropped on Hiroshima.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

2. Today also marks the 54th anniversary of the signing of one of the most important pieces of Legislation in American history, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Photo Credit: Vanderbilt University

 
Although African Americans were given the right to vote by the 15th amendment after the civil war a century earlier, former confederate states fought hard to keep them from having a voice in their government.  Obstacles like poll taxes and literary tests with questions like “how many bubbles are there in a bar of soap?” were used. In Mississippi in 1964, only 8 percent of the African American population was registered to vote. In Alabama the number was better at 19 percent, but still embarrassing.  
 
Desegregation in the military, sports, schools, restaurants, and movie theaters was nice, but the only way that things were truly going to change for African Americans was by gaining the opportunity to vote.  

Passing this bill took tremendous, unthinkable courage by many people. If you haven’t yet, make sure and see the movie “Selma”, and you will understand it better.
 
After the V.R.A. of 1965, African American voter registration in the south nearly tripled, and change started to happen slowly but surely.
 
Thank goodness for the warriors who have fought inside this country to make it a better place, and to make it live up to its promise. We have a ways to go, but we are a long ways from where we used to be.

3. On this date in 1881, Alexander Fleming was born. He discovered Penicillin in 1928, which has saved over 100 million lives. There is a really strong possibility that you or someone you love would not be alive without Penicillin.

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Photo Credit: T.B.A.T.

Scientists and medical researchers don’t get enough credit for the lives they save and the positive impact they have.  We should all make a better effort to praise and celebrate these heroes.

4. It is Lucille Ball’s birthday. She was born August 6, 1911 in Los Angeles, California.  At first glance, this may seem trivial compared to the other three, but she sure did make a lot of people smile and laugh, so maybe her birthday day is not so trivial.

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Photo Credit: Women you should know

We need more smiles and laughter these days. Appreciate the people who lead us to them.

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